February 17, 2010

Ketchum and Snikeris among Nominees for Kazmaier Award as Top Women’s College Hockey Player

Yale Juniors on List Announced by USA Hockey Wednesday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A pair of Yale juniors, forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) and goaltender Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.), have been nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually by The USA Hockey Foundation to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey. USA Hockey announced the nominees Wednesday.

Selection criteria for the Kazmaier Award, which has been awarded since 1998, include outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement. The NCAA Division I women's coaches will vote to select 10 finalists (announced Mar. 2) from the 45 nominees, and a 13-member selection committee will then determine the final three candidates (announced Mar. 9) and the winner. The winner will be announced on Mar. 20 as part of the women's Frozen Four at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center.

This is the second major honor for the Yale duo in just over a month, as both were selected to the ECAC Hockey All-Star team and played in an exhibition game vs. Team USA Jan. 3. Snikeris made 10 saves in one period of work, and Ketchum was on the ice for one of the All-Stars' goals.

Ketchum leads Yale in goals (12), power-play goals (5) and points (23) and is tied for the team lead in assists (11). She has seven multiple-point games and has had three different scoring streaks of four or more straight games. She has been called for just three penalties all season.

Ketchum has 34 career goals, 32 career assists and 66 career points, more than any other player on Yale's roster. She is already in the top 18 on Yale's all-time lists in all of those categories, and is on pace to finish sixth all-time in goals. She tied for the team lead in goals last season (13) and was second in points (24). Of her 34 career goals, 30 have come in ECAC Hockey games.

Off the ice, Ketchum tutors local elementary school students in reading, writing and math and participates in Yale's Relay for Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. She also teaches sports skills to local youths at Yale Athletics Youth Days and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. She participates in the Yale Athletics Department's Kiphuth Leadership Academy.

Before coming to Yale Ketchum was the Boston Globe's NEPSAC Women's Athlete of the Year for 2006-07, when she starred in field hockey and lacrosse in addition to ice hockey at Greenwich Academy. She also played hockey for the Connecticut Stars. She has been picked for USA Hockey Player Development camps four times, and attended Team USA's Open Olympic Team Tryouts last summer.

An American studies major, Ketchum is a member of Davenport College.

Snikeris' save percentage of .928 (687 saves, 53 goals allowed) places her 11th in the country. She has lowered her season goals-against average to 2.46 by allowing only 28 goals in her last 14 games (1.99 GAA), posting a .947 save percentage in that span. Earlier this season she broke the Yale career record for shutouts with her 13th -- in just her 49th career game. Her four shutouts for the year also include a 1-0 blanking of St. Lawrence that gave the Bulldogs their first win over the Saints in history (they had been 0-35-1).

Snikeris is on pace to break the Yale career goals-against average record (she is at 2.15) and finish second on Yale's all-time save percentage list (she is at .928). She posted the lowest goal-against average in school history last season (1.67) while setting the school record for single-season save percentage (.934) and tying the school record for single-season shutouts (five).

A history of science/history of medicine major who plans to go to medical school, Snikeris volunteers at a local hospice each week and with Yale's Relay for Life American Cancer Society fundraiser. She is a graduate of the Yale Athletics Department's Kiphuth Leadership Academy and has taught sports skills and fitness lessons at a homeless shelter and also to local youths at Yale Athletics Youth Days. She will receive the third ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection of her career this season.

Prior to Yale, Snikeris played for the Connecticut Polar Bears and was All-New England for Taft. She was a five-time USA Hockey Player Development Camp selection, and has been invited to USA Hockey's Warren Strelow Goaltending Camp each of the past two years. She also attended USA Hockey's Under-22 Select Team tryouts in 2008.

Snikeris is in Branford College at Yale.

Bray Ketchum bio
Jackee Snikeris bio
Patty Kazmaier Award website

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity